GTC Scotland

The General Teaching Council for Scotland

Comhairle Choitcheann Teagaisg na h-Alba

Direct Submissions

Teachers who do not work for an employer that is validated for Professional Update (PU) can maintain full registration through engagement in PU, recording reflective professional learning through MyPL. Five-yearly sign-off can be completed through the Direct Submission (DS) Process.

The PU requirements for a DS are the same as those required of teachers working within a validated Professional Review and Development (PRD) system. Individuals will be required to:

  • Annually update personal details, including employment details, in your MyGTCS account;
  • Engage in ongoing professional learning and PRD (if available through your employer) as appropriate to post/context;
  • Self-evaluation against the appropriate GTC Scotland Professional Standards;
  • Maintain an ongoing reflective professional learning record and associated evidence of impact, and;
  • Complete the five-yearly sign-off by following the direct submission process.

Who can make a Direct Submission?

If you are not working with an employer with a PRD process validated by GTC Scotland, you can make a DS. This includes those who are:

  • Living and/or working in England, Ireland, Wales or overseas
  • Working in an Early Learning or childcare context
  • Working within education services within non-traditional contexts such as museums, NHS etc
  • Working for a professional association or trade union
  • Not currently working, but still engaged in professional learning.

If you are unsure if you meet the criteria for making a Direct Submission, please contact for guidance.

I am currently absent from work. Can I make a Direct Submission?

If you are currently absent from work as a result of illness or maternity/paternity leave you should not make a DS. Please contact your line manager and request a deferral of your PU sign off. Read more information on the deferral process here.

I’m a supply teacher, can I make a Direct Submission?

Supply teachers would not normally make a DS. Every local authority employer has a process to support supply teachers through their PU and PRD process. If you need advice on who to contact for support within your local authority please contact

If you are not currently on a supply register, or haven’t worked within the current academic year please contact for guidance.

Do I need to identify a reviewer when submitting a Direct Submission?

GTC Scotland acts as your reviewer in the DS process so you are not required to identify a reviewer.  When you make a DS to the PU Team a panel of Senior Education Officers will make the decision to confirm your PU sign-off. By making a DS you are giving consent to share your PL records on MyPL with GTC Scotland.

When should I make my Direct Submission?

You will have a designated year for your PU sign-off. You can check this on your MyGTCS account. Once you have logged in you will see your sign-off year under Registration Details and Professional Update.

You can make your DS at any point during the academic session with a deadline of 1 July each academic year. We recommend making your submission in advance of the deadline to allow for any supplementary information that may be required.

I’m not working in Scotland. Is Direct Submission my only option?

If you wish to retain Full (General) registration with GTC Scotland, then a DS at your five-year sign-off is required.

However, you may wish to consider changing your registration to Full (Associate). This level of registration does not require engagement in PU. Please note that you cannot teach in a Scottish School (including the independent sector) with this level of registration and lecturers in Scotland’s Colleges require full registration.

The Full (Associate) level of registration may be appropriate for those who:

  • have retired from their post within education and will not engage in any further teaching
  • are not currently working or not working in an educational context which requires full registration
  • are working outside Scotland with no plans to return within the foreseeable future

If you would like to discuss Fully Registered (Associate) status for your current context with a member of the Professional Update Team, please email Please include your registration number and a contact telephone number so that we may arrange a callback at a convenient time. You will also find further details here: Associate and General Status

How do I make a Direct Submission?

To complete the five-yearly sign-off, you will be required to complete a Direct Submission via your online professional learning record, MyPL.

To do this:

  • Log in to your MyGTCS account. If you do not have a MyGTCS account, you can create an account here.
  • You should now be able to see the MyPL icon. Click on this icon. If you do not see a MyPL icon, please contact

    MyPL Icon

  • Add your Professional Learning records and two to three Areas for Development as outlined in this MyPL Direct Submission Guidance (PDF) which is also available in MyPL's Need Help section.
  • Once you have finished recording your professional learning records and areas for development, please click on the Professional Update section in the menu. Click on the Direct Submission button to notify GTC Scotland that you are submitting your records for sign-off.

    MyPL Direct Submission Button

When you click the Direct Submission button, the following pop-up will ask you to confirm that you have completed everything necessary to sign-off for PU. Click Confirm.

MyPL Direct Submission Pop-up

Once you have clicked Confirm, your Professional Update screen will change to show you have submitted for Direct Submission.

MyPL Direct Submission Confirmed

How will I know if my Direct Submission has been successful and how long before a decision is made?

DS Evaluation Panels are held monthly so you will usually hear a response within four weeks. This may be slightly longer if you submit your application on or immediately prior to 1 July. You will receive an email communication which will either confirm your PU sign off, or GTC Scotland will provide you with feedback and may request supplementary information.

Please ensure that your email contact details are correctly entered on your MyGTCS account.

Flowchart: Direct Submission process for teachers in a non-validated PRD/ PU system

Direct Submission process for teachers

You could also see this image as a PDF here.